Christ is Risen, my dear readers!
When Leo Tolstoy was in Optina Monastery, he was amazed at how many people were standing in line to see Elder Ambrose. He couldn’t understand why healthy and strong people were seeking consolation from a sickly monk. We can ask our contemporaries the same question: What makes them turn for help to a saint who in her earthly life bore the cross of physical suffering and persecution?
God’s strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)—these words of the apostle Paul directly relate to St. Matrona. It’s all very convenient to be a “righteous one” when everything is going well for you, nothing hurts, and you know no lack. But as soon as sickness and sorrows come, people become angry, irritable, and nervous. They immediately begin to get stuck on their emotional experiences, fall into despondency, even into depression. But now take a look with your heart at St. Matrona’s manner of life. She was blind from birth, lost the ability to walk from a paralysis in childhood, was always ill, and of course, she suffered greatly. But even a completely healthy person would find it hard to receive a multitude of people day after day, listen to the stories of their tribulations and woes. But Matronushka did this while in a state of infirmity and sickness. After all, no one came to her with joy—all brought only their pain and sadness. But she bore all this and took it all into her loving and compassionate heart.
As before, so today, people go to the blessed one as a rule not in order to learn patience and humility from her, but in order to ask for themselves and their close ones prosperity, good health, and abundance. And as before, she bears with us unwise ones, interceding for us before the Lord. But after all, she wants the same thing for us as God does—to see all of us saved. But the majority of people say to her, “No, Matronushka, we want the earthly. It would be better if you make it so that everything would be well for us here. ‘Charm’ the water, ‘sanctify’ a bit of earth, give us a lucky talisman…”